Complications in surgery: a 20-percent risk is still considered to be “isolated

OLG Karlsruhe, Germany: Large-scale reconnaissance prior to the Operation

Doctors and hospitals must at every fifth Operation complication “vereinzelt“ call. In any case, the higher regional court (OLG) of Karlsruhe said in a on Monday, may 8. In April 2019, announced the judgment (Az.: 8 U 219/16). This corresponds to the General usage of the language.

The plaintiff slipped on black ice and had broken his right upper arm. In the hospital he was informed about the various operation methods; The doctor and the Patient opted for a connection of the two bone parts with a steel pen (so-called the Humerus-Nailing). In the information form, it was said that this method “vereinzelt“ don’t feel that the bone grows back together and a so-called false joint is formed.

This is exactly what occurred then. Only after another Operation with a different method, the fracture healed. The plaintiff demanded damages for Pain and suffering and damages.

As the district court also cast the higher regional court of Frankfurt am Main dismissed the action. A treatment error is not detected, and the reconnaissance was done properly.

An expert had declared the risk of “Falschgelenks“ for this method 20 percent. The court of appeal now decided, the doctor and hospital have with the word “vereinzelt“ not played down. “Vereinzelt“ a very inaccurate term that meant actually was that the risk of a complication “, at least smaller than häufig“ .

Percentages for the Occurrence of certain complications, a surgery would not have to be called in the investigation, the OLG. Also, the term is not were prevail, which are prescribed for the side effects of medicines.

In this case, the higher regional court relied on a judgment of the Federal court of justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe, Germany, had on 29. January 2019 according to Az had decided to (.: VI ZR 117/18). Thereafter, a complication rate of 8.7 per cent in the case of operations as “gelegentlich“ to be referred to.

In the case of Drug-side effects gelegentlich&#8220 referred to as “; the range of 0.1 to 1.0 percent. A Occur in more than ten percent of the patients – as in the case of the OLG Frankfurt – would be “very häufig“. According to the dictionary, means “vereinzelt“: “individually, only in a very small number occurring; rare; sporadisch“.

The risk of complications during surgery, the OLG said: “According to the General use of the language can be a approximately in every fifth case, the risk is about to happen, you still need to be ‘vereinzelt‘ call.“ In addition, could the risk in the case of other methods is lower, stressed the Frankfurt judge, in its judgment of 26. March 2019. mwo/fle